[All photos by Etienne Mar]
There’s a lovely journal post over at Kinfolk Magazine detailing the beautiful Grand Aioli dinner I threw with Michelle Marek almost two months ago. The night, which was full of chaos and love and fresh vegetables, was one of the highlights of my summer. As we approach fall, it’s so nice to relive the moment when we were still thrilled by the emergence of garlic, and the warmth of sunshine. Anthony really couldn’t have summed up the night better:
Between the food, the wine, the ambiance, and the assembly of enthusiasts, something magical happened that evening. Somehow Montreal’s natural joie de vivre merged with a sense of Provence’s. One terroir (the one that produced our vegetables, flowers, cheeses, and breads) was united with another (the one that produced the wine). And the vehicle for this experiment in teleportation was as honest and elemental as they come.
I took a few photos too, though they’re aren’t as nice as Etienne’s, and I’ll share them soon…
I’ve held on to these images by friend and photographer John Cullen for a long time — it’s time I shared his amazing work with everyone else, too. The images were outtakes from a photoshoot that we organized for Kinfolk Magazine last fall, for a story that appeared in their third issue. I’m thrilled to finally share these images now, in several parts.
This first set is from the pre-dinner prep — I enlisted pals to help get everything ready, like rinse pomegranate seeds, chop dill, cut bread, tear lettuce, pour drinks. Because John had to shoot early “to chase the sunlight,” as he called it, our “dinner party” was actually a luncheon. (We sat down to eat around 3pm — it felt weirdly glamorous to eat so early.) I think we cracked open our first bottle of wine around 11am, early even for my standards! It was chilly that afternoon, so I bribed people to stay out on the roof with bites of my homemade gravlax and special creme fraiche… so I don’t think anyone minded too much.
[All images by John Cullen]
Posted in lunch, memory, party, people, photography
Tagged creme fraiche, gravlax, john cullen, kinfolk magazine, photography, photoshoot prep, rooftop hang
This Monday, June 25, I will be throwing a lush Provençal summer feast with my buddies from Kinfolk Magazine! (See their announcement here). My best lady and celebrated chef Michelle Marek (FoodLab) will prepare the meal, inspired by the wild, aromatic garrigue of the Provençal landscape. The highlight will be a Provençal-style Grand Aïoli, featuring local produce from Birri Et Frères. And it will all be held at the beautiful new bar Alexandraplatz as a post-St. Jean Baptiste celebration. (Ahem, dancing afterward!)
We will be joined by co-host Theo Diamantis of Oenopole, who imports one of my most treasured summer wines, the Domaine du Gros ‘Noré Bandol Rosé. (I’ve been writing about them quite a bit!) Private wine importer Kermit Lynch has called the wines of Gros ‘Noré “magnificent Bandols made in the simplest manner, très franc de goût, with a whole lotta soul.”
This will be a Kinfolk-inspired evening of feasting, wine, laughter, and friends! We are thrilled to present the dinner at Alexandraplatz, one of the newest and most inspiring spaces in our neighborhood, and feature so many talented members of our food and arts community.
As a final note: We released the information for the Kinfolk dinner a few days ago, and I have been stunned by the response — it sold out (and then some) in a matter of hours. I’m thrilled by the level of response, and it has moved me and Michelle to take on more projects in the future. But for those who are patiently on the waiting list, some reassurance: the bigger, badder “official” Kinfolk gala will actually be held this September at the brand-new, stunning PHI Centre space in Old Montreal, so drop me a message anyway and I’ll keep you posted about future events.
To say this is a personal event that speaks to the depths of my heart is an understatement. I feel incredibly honored to work with so many extraordinary people and businesses, and just so happy that the dinner reflects so personally my own interests and passions. (I mean, really: how many times have I written about aioli, you know?) Now, if only I knew what to wear…
Posted in announcement, celebration, summer
Tagged alexandraplatz, grand aioli, gros nore, kinfolk magazine, michelle marek, oenopole, phi centre, provencal feast, rose wine
I blame slow Canadian postal service, but I finally got my copy of Kinfolk Magazine the other week, and I’m so proud to be a part of such a beautiful publication! (And in such good company, too, like Ashley!)
My story, which details the difficult personal journey I took when I first moved to Montreal, was not an easy one to write. The article also represents a new shift in writing for me, one that is much more intimate and autobiographical. I’ve always been more comfortable focusing on other people — artists, musicians, chefs — so it was very hard to turn the writerly eye on myself, to somehow still produce something honest and sincere. I hope it reads alright. The photos, in any case, by our good friend John Cullen, are stunning. He captured the day so well. (And disguised, expertly, the reality that we were all pretty hungover!) I’ll post some outtakes soon…